Association of Gaps in Health Insurance Coverage With Unmet Needs for Vision Care Among Adults in Ohio
Access to vision care is crucial for diagnosing and treating vision impairment and diseases. This cross-sectional study aimed to determine if gaps in health insurance coverage affect access to vision care among Ohio adults. Data from the 2021 Ohio Medicaid Assessment Survey were analyzed for 19,036 adults aged 19 years or older who reported needing vision care within the past 12 months. The study found that 4% of adults experienced recent coverage gaps, while another 4% were year-round uninsured. Unmet needs for vision care were reported by 13% of participants. Adults with coverage gaps were at a higher risk of unmet vision care needs compared to those with continuous private or public coverage. The odds of unmet vision care needs were 2.9 times higher for those with coverage gaps compared to continuous private coverage, and 1.7 times higher compared to continuous public coverage. These findings highlight the importance of continuity in health insurance coverage to promote access to vision care and reduce the burden of eye diseases among Ohio adults. Policies that protect and ensure the continuity of health insurance coverage may help mitigate the rate of unmet vision care needs and improve overall eye health in the population.